Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious opaque gemstone that is well-known for its intense deep royal blue color and shimmering golden flecks that are reminiscent of a starry night sky.
This is a stunning gem with an interesting history. Historians believe that Lapis Lazuli has been around for the last 6,500 years, having been used and treasured by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and China.
Archaeologists have found evidence of Lapis Lazuli among treasures and furnishings in ancient graves. It wasn’t just used for jewelry. It was (and still is) made into different objects including figures, bowls, hair combs, dagger handles and other decorative objects through carving techniques.
Historically, Lapis Lazuli was also thought to have been ground down into powder to make eyeshadow and medicinal elixirs. The famous Italian painter and sculptor, Michelangelo, used ground Lapis Lazuli to produce an ultramarine colored pigment for some of his paintings during the Renaissance period.
This gemstone is said to be one of the first gemstones ever worn as jewelry having been fashioned into cabochons and beads.
Origin and composition of the Lapis Lazuli Gemstone
The name Lapis Lazuli is derived from “lapis” the latin word for “stone” and “azula” which in Arabic means “blue”. Many people refer to this gemstone simply as “lapis”.
Its mineral makeup is comprised mainly of Lazurite but also some other minerals, including white Calcite and Pyrite which gives us those beautiful golden flecks within the stone itself.
In terms of sources, it’s believed that Lapis Lazuli was first mined in the Sar-i Sang mines in northeast Afghanistan. Nowadays, mines in Afghanistan continue to be a major provider of Lapis Lazuli along with mines in Pakistan, Russia and in the Andes Mountains in Chile. This gemstone can also be found in smaller quantities in other countries including the USA and Canada.
Meanings and healing powers of Lapis Lazuli
Lapis Lazuli is thought to positively influence friendships and honesty, encouraging harmonious relationships for those that wear it. It is known as a stone of truth.
In terms of this gem’s power, Lapis Lazuli can promote intellectual ability, creativity and help to enhance the memory. It is thought to help its wearer desire and retain knowledge and bring about good, open communication skills.
In terms of mental healing and emotional powers, Lapis Lazuli carries positive energy and can strengthen the mind, helping its wearer to overcome issues relating to trauma, depression or grief. It can help its wearer to declutter their mind, think more clearly and bring about inner hope and courage.
Lapis Lazuli – a prized gemstone since ancient times
There are some very valuable Lapis Lazuli carvings, jewelry and gems available on the market today. The most valuable forms of this gemstone are those that are considered a deep intense blue in color with evenly spaced or few pyrites.
Stones that possess a blotchy appearance or are a lighter color blue (or are tinged with green hues) are worth less. Also, gemstones with white streaks caused by excess quantities of Calcite are typically worth less too. However, value aside, one thing is for sure – the semi-precious gemstone Lapis Lazuli is as popular today as it was during those times of old!
We hope you enjoyed this article about the beautiful gemstone Lapis Lazuli. Don’t forget to check out our very own Lapis Lazuli beads in store!
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